Two more men and women made their way to the 2015 Australian Open semifinals on Day 10, with not too many upsets being caused except for rookie Madison Keys stunning the elder of the William sisters.
Four-time champion Novak Djokovic dismantled the big serving of Milos Raonic to reach the Australian Open semi-finals. The world number one needed just one hour and 55 minutes to beat eighth seed Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2. Raonic, who is now 0-5 against world No. 1 opponents, leaves Melbourne with a record of 14-5, making this his most successful major by the numbers.
The pair took 55 minutes to play their opening set on the Rod Laver Arena as the opener went into a tiebreaker. Djokovic sent over his fifth ace for a 5-3 lead and eventually converted on a third set point.This is what Novak had to say in the post match conference-
“I take a lot of confidence and try to carry that in every next match, next challenge. Obviously I’m going to play Stan, who is the defending champion here. We played five-set matches in 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. I’m going to be ready for a fight. But knowing that I have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way. Hopefully I can carry that into next one.”
Defending champion Stan Wawrinka avenged his U.S. Open quarter-final defeat to Kei Nishikori in style with an emphatic 6-3 6-4 7-6(6) victory to charge into the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday. The fourth-seeded Swiss has worked his way slowly into the year’s first grand slam but put his foot to the floor at a sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena, dominating Nishikori with raw power and compiling an exhaustive highlight reel of cleanly struck winners. It was the 29-year-old Swiss’ first win over a top-five player since he beat Roger Federer in Monte Carlo last year and the workmanlike victory undoubtedly sent a warning to four-times champion Novak Djokovic he would need to be at his best to reclaim the Australian Open title.
Meanwhile, the women’s singles division saw rising star Madison keys beat Venus Williams in a 3 set thriller. Keys overcame a left thigh injury to beat No. 18-ranked Venus Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and advance to the last four against top-ranked and 18-time major winner Serena, who had little trouble beating last year’s finalist, Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 6-2. The loss ended an encouraging 10 days for Venus Williams at Melbourne Park. She hadn’t advanced to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since the U.S. Open in 2010 and had struggled to recapture her earlier form after being diagnosed in 2011 with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.
Serena Williams made the win look easy despite suffering from a bad cold the past few days. She spoke with a hoarse voice in her post-match interview on court.
There had been some hope that the semis might feature an all-Williams matchup at a major for the first time in more than five years. The Williams sisters last met in a Grand Slam match at Wimbledon in 2009, when Serena won the final. The semifinalists from the other half of the women’s draw have already been determined – No. 2 Maria Sharapova will play No. 10-seeded Ekaterina Makarova, also on Thursday.
Serena’s win doesn’t bode will for the other three women left – all five past times Williams has advanced to the semifinals at Melbourne Park, she’s won the tournament.
With the business end of the tournament approaching, the stakes are as high as ever. There is definitely a lot to look forward to in the days to come as the top seeds battle it out for the Australian open championship.
Men’s Singles – Quarter-Finals
Novak Djoković (SRB) beat Milos Raonic (CAN)
7-6(5) 6-4 6-2
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) beat Kei Nishikori (JPN)
6-3 6-4 7-6(6)
Women’s Singles – Quarter-Finals
Serena Williams (USA) beat Dominika Cibulkova (SLO)
Madison Keys (USA) beat Venus Williams (USA)
6-3 4-6 6-4